By Staff Reporter
Israel has approved an Egyptian-proposed deal to halt the week-old Gaza shelling war today.
The security cabinet convened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv said it had voted to approve the truce deal – minutes before it was to come into effect.
The armed wing of Palestinian organisation Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, rejected the reported text of the truce deal, saying they had not been consulted by Cairo.
“Our battle with the enemy continues and will increase in ferocity and intensity,”
However, Palestinian rocket salvoes waned ahead of possible mutual de-escalation.
Israel said there had been two cross-border launches overnight, neither of which had caused damage, and that it had bombed 25 sites in Gaza.
Palestinian medical officials said a 63-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were killed – bringing the enclave’s death toll to more than 182, most of them civilians.
Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defence official and envoy to Cairo said that Hamas had been weakened by the air and sea bombardment of impoverished Gaza.
“Look at the balance, and you see that Hamas tried every possible means of striking at Israel while bringing great and terrible damage on its people, from their perspective,” Gilad told Israel’s Army Radio.
“The Egyptian proposal includes a halt to all kind of [military] activity,”
he said. “What this proposal, if it is accepted, means is that, willy-nilly, Hamas did not manage to make good on its intentions.”
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said earlier on Tuesday that the Islamist group had not received an official ceasefire proposal. He repeated its position that its demands must be met before it lays down its weapons.